Russian Art Collective Voina’s “Kiss Debris”

Update: According to ArtInfo, earlier this week Banksy bailed out two members of the Russian anarchist art collective Voina, jailed last year for “Palace Revolution,” a performance in which members overturned cop cars in protest of abusive authority.

Voina come back for kisses
by Tom Washington
The Moscow News
March 1, 2011

Police are reluctant to pucker up and play along with the latest provocative prank from art collective Voina (War).

To mark the first day of spring and the implementation of Russia”™s new police law women in the group have been attempt[ing] to plant smacking kisses on female officers in Moscow metro stations.

The stunt, called “Kiss debris”, did not go down well with many officers, as images on a Voina member”™s livejournal page attest.

Love for the law

The group, notorious for its antics in provoking the authorities, has promoted the latest campaign with slogans such as “˜Get out on the street and grab a police officer!”™ “˜My sexual orientation is a police officer of my sex!”™ And “˜A gay policeman and a lesbian policewoman are Medvedev”™s avant-garde modernisation!”™

Feisty females

The group”™s twitter account suggests the kissing spree has been going on for two months and that several hundred officers have been targeted.

“During a series of training tests it became obvious that lady police officers react to the kisses much more aggressively than the gentlemen,” campaign member Vera Tolokonnikova told She participated in a campaign of this type, dedicated to President Dmitry Medvedev.

“When women had smackers planted on them they began to panic, swearing their heads off, cursing activists and starting to fight them,” she said.

Under the covers

Leonid Nikolayev and Oleg Vorotnikov have just been released from prison on bail. To avoid repeating legal problems all photos on the blog are provided by “the militant-feminist high command faction of Voina.”

No award

Voina”™s first high profile stunt was painting a giant penis on a bascule bridge in St Petersburg, fully visible to the FSB headquarters and the St. Petersburg Economic Forum when the bridge was raised.

It won them a state sponsored prize nomination, soon after which Nikolayev and Vorotnikov were released for hooliganism, but they learned over the weekend that they would not be getting any awards, in a move that Alexei Plutser-Sarno, the group”™s chief ideologist, labeled “schizophrenic”.

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